Exams & Cleanings

Prevent the problem before it starts

Did you know that by routinely seeing your dentist for exams and cleanings, you can:

  • Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
  • Save money by avoiding costly and extensive dental procedures
  • Keep your teeth white by reducing staining from food and drinks
  • Shorten the time spent in your dentist’s office

The American Dental Association has recommended that you visit your dentist every six months to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays beautiful. Recent studies are showing more and more the correlations between a healthy mouth and better overall health in individuals. The health of your teeth and mouth is vital to the well-being of your entire body. While routine brushing and flossing at home is necessary to keep your smile looking great, visiting your dentist for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential.

The Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit, and at regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Imaging of the bone and hard tissue in the mouth is essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
Gum disease evaluation: Evaluation of the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of inflammation and periodontal disease.
Oral cancer screening: Check the soft tissue of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Check for tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
Check on existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc. for decay, cracks, or fractures.

Professional Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • Measurements of gum tissue: The dental hygienist will then perform a periodontal exam to make sure your gums adhere tightly to your teeth, and no periodontal disease or bone loss may be occurring.
  • Calculus (tartar) removal: Calculus is hardened plaque that is mineralized and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Plaque removal: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums and the start of periodontal disease.
  • Teeth polishing: Removes surface stains and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and cleaning.
  • Fluoride Varnish: a highly concentrated form of fluoride is applied to the tooth’s surface. Fluoride is a mineral that can strengthen tooth enamel or outer surface of the tooth. This varnish can help prevent tooth decay, slow it down, or stop it from getting worse.